Cracking the social media formula – Intel

For social media marketing strategies to be successful, a keen understanding of the nature of the business and its requirements is required.

The name Intel connotes ‘experts in the microprocessor world’. Intel’s ecosystem is held together by a vast network, comprising of customers who are corporate giants themselves, partners, re-sellers and vast number of end users from across the globe. To effectively manage and engage these players and to remain innovative Intel has deployed online communities. This has also enabled them to entertain the most brilliant minds and thus continuously push the boundaries of technology. Enriching customer experience has been the core mission of its online communities and hence provide them with the information they seek about Intel’s products. The key to the success, which several organizations fail to tap into in their social media strategies is treating the communication path multidimensional.

Intel’s first key to success was letting customers talk to their peers – Engage, Enable, Observe and Revert has been the formula.

Intel found social media as the platform to look at key business factors and sustain social / community conversations on a continuing basis. The community is provided a channel to engage in open discussions. First they found a need for customers to be able to contact Intel quickly and securely to discuss product or process issues or ideas. And second, Intel found that the customers wanted the ability to engage with each other without intervention from Intel.

As a first step towards making their social media initiative powerful, Intel started by:-

  • Segmenting its audience
  • Creating separate dedicated teams for each segment
  • Appointing community managers who would be in direct connection with and focused on their respective segments.

These community managers communicate with their relevant segments through mediums such as branded, public, private communities and other diasporas.

Intel has also developed a sophisticated interaction plan that focuses on faster and better responses to customer questions by quickly identifying unanswered questions in the community and effectively engaging Intel product experts in community conversations.

Intel’s community managers came up with concept of brokers and floaters.

Brokers focus on monitoring the community for questions and then connecting the relevant Intel experts with the question at hand. Floaters do not belong to a specific section of the community but freely roam from area to area looking for questions on specific topics that match their expertise. This has ensured that all the critical questions, feedback, responses are attended to in a timely manner.

Intel continues to maintain and strengthen its competitive advantage in the market by providing these customers with the expertise and information they need via these on-line communities. This has enabled the company to engage more deeply with customers and respond more effectively to customer questions, which builds stronger loyalty.

Additionally, Intel spans the Social spectrum by fostering and building private communities that linearly contribute to product designs, innovation and opportunities.

Social media’s success is defined by how the data generated is used wisely. An apt strategy was designed for Intel by Xerago, using a concurrent listening framework. Insights are shared with community managers based on extensive analytics to enable the creation of new and innovative customer contact programs.

Intel not just utilizes channels such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, private communities, public communities and branded communities to achieve this; but also backs its Social Media program with offline events, boot camps, and sponsorships.

The ideology behind this framework is to give preference to people’s emotional thoughts than just their rational thoughts. Intel also believes that this experience drives emotion, being simple drives engagement levels and being unique promotes sharing.

‘Intel Sponsors of Tomorrow’ campaign used social media to a great extent and was used in conveying the message that advances of the digital age have been made possible by silicon – the key ingredient in microprocessors – and the vast majority of this silicon has come from Intel. Social media was used by Intel to reach out by means of blogs, sites and social networks to engage users and drive response rates of the campaigns. Bloggers and influencers were identified and engagement driven to create awareness amongst the technologists community. Viral videos through youtube was used in reaching a wider audience. The results were overwhelming with over 400000 global interactions. The videos resulted in a rapid increase in engagement levels.

Intel followed a few practices that ensured the success of their social media efforts

  • Clearly defining what a good customer experience in their context meant.
  • Providing a method for two-way conversations between customers and executives and amongst customers.
  • Using social insights to take necessary action.
  • Defined training, governance and guidelines

The results have been phenomenal in creating a deeper customer engagement, faster and better responses to customer questions and reducing operational costs.

This article was first published in IMPACT

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